February 2018

Use these links to navigate to the any section of the magazine. Happy reading!

From the Moderator
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
Presbyterian Research Centre
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
Global Mission
New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services
Kids Friendly
Presbyterian Women
CWS Notices
Church Register

From the Moderator

Fighting the habit…

All of us struggle with habits, which is odd because habits make life liveable. If we had to really think about everything we do, we’d probably go nuts because it’d be like never coming home from work. The trouble is that to make new habits, we have to change old ones – and there’s the rub – habits are great until we have to change them.

The development of good, profitable and healthy habits is a significant part of spiritual maturity, so knowing a bit about how habits work is really worthwhile. In his new book Building the Coaching Habit Michael Bungay Staneir has a wonderful summary of research in this area. I would highly recommend reading the book if you are in church leadership, but in the meantime here’s a summary of what he says about habit building:

“To build an effective new habit, you need five essential components: a reason, a trigger, a micro-habit, effective practice, and a plan.”1

The reason for a reason should be pretty clear, but interestingly we do much better when the reason is about serving others – “So think less about what your habit can do for you, and more about how this new habit will help a person or people you care about.”2

The trigger is what gets us doing what we want to stop – such as eating whatever is given to us! Bungay Stanier says: “One key insight from reading Charles Duhigg’s book, The Power of Habit, is this: if you don’t know what triggers the old behaviour, you’ll never change it because you’ll already be doing it before you know it.”3

You then need to create a micro-habit – something you can complete within a minute. A short and specific micro-habit enables us to get “…really clear on the first step or two that might lead to the bigger habit.”4

We must then practice in a manner which includes breaking up the new skill into bite-size chunks and repetition, and finally have a plan of what to do if we fail occasionally (which we all will do).

It’s hard to build new habits, but we must all head down this road if we want to grow as people and especially as spiritual people.


1 Stanier, Michael Bungay. The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever (p 18). Box of Crayons Press. Kindle Edition.
2 Ibid p 19
3 Ibid p 19
4 Ibid p 20


From the Assembly Executive Secretary

Dear Friends and Colleagues      

I want to begin by acknowledging the passing of the former Moderator of Te Aka Puaho, Mrs Millie Amiria Te Kaawa. Many words have been spoken and written acknowledging the tremendous contribution she made to the Church and her community – words about her wisdom; her care; her welcome; her acceptance, and the list goes on. Millie loved her people and loved her Church and lived that out. We give thanks to God for her life and continue to pray for her family.

Over the summer I took time to read a few books. Having visited Berlin last year – it was time to read Bridge of Spies about prisoner spy exchanges between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Then onto The Tunnels: The Untold Story of the Escapes Under the Berlin Wall. I re-read Canoeing the Mountains – and warmly recommend this. How did you relax?


Significant dates
In February there are two significant anniversaries: 6 February marks the anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. February is also the anniversary of the Rev John McFarlane preaching the first Presbyterian service on the foreshore at Petone. Tracing the history from there gives us the opportunity to pause, reflect, give thanks and to be open to the leading of Spirit in these days.

Finance Manager
This week we say goodbye to Finance Manager, Brendan Sweeney. Brendan has led the finance team since 2007 and has guided the Church and our congregations through major changes including implementation of the Charities Act, significant changes to accounting and reporting standards as well as made major improvements to our systems. We are thankful for the expertise Brendan has bought to this role and wish him well as he moves on to new opportunities.

We are looking for a new Finance Manager
We are seeking a Finance Manager to lead the small Assembly Office finance team. Applications for the role close at 5:00pm on Wed, 14 February. Learn more about the job requirements and applying for this role here.

First round of voting for Moderator-designate
In late January all parishes were sent information for the first round of voting for Moderator-designate. Names have to be submitted to presbytery clerks by Friday, 6 April. To assist those who are being asked to prayerfully consider offering themselves for this role, a background paper was part of this information.

General Assembly 2018
The 2018 General Assembly will be held from 3-7 October at St Andrew's College in Christchurch.

Deadline for reports, proposals and recommendations to be considered by General Assembly 2018
Following consultation with the assembly business work group convener, a deadline has been set for receiving all reports and proposals that will be considered by General Assembly. All material must be received by 8 June 2018. This timeframe will enable us to facilitate a consultative process with presbyteries prior to Assembly. In this way, we will be able to fulfil the 2012 Assembly’s decision supporting presbyteries’ participation in the setting of the Assembly agenda.

Update your office bearer contacts
We use electronic communication to share information, update on important matters and pass on other news. Our office’s ability to do this is dependent on church councils advising updates to key contact people, changes in email etc. Please pass on any changes to Lynne from our office, so that we can ensure we are communicating with the appropriate office bearers.

As you enter more fully into the New Year with the inevitable challenges and opportunities, may God continue to bless and guide you.

Wayne Matheson

Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership

Our summer block course for ministry interns began in Dunedin on 31 January with a new cohort of six interns (presbyteries are where they are placed, not necessarily where they are from): Hayden Luke (Northern), Chris Moresi (Kaimai), Donald Gordon (Alpine), Gabe Hawker, Tom Mepham and Seb Murrihy (Southern). Our second-year interns join the block course on 6 February.

After months of creative and energetic work, the “Mark: Illustrated Gospel Project” will be launched at the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership on Sunday evening 11 February. Keep an eye on the Church website for further details.

Geoff New
Dean of Studies

Presbyterian Research Centre

Last year was a very interesting one for the PRC as we continued to identify and shape our future direction. Highlights were UNESCO Memory of the World New Zealand recognition for the Ng NZ Chinese Heritage Collection, more additions to the Rita Mayne England and Chrysalis Seed Library collections, a new e-book collection and a successful collaboration with the University of Otago Humanities Internship programme.

This year promises to be busy with several new projects coming up. In March we will be welcoming Rachel Tombs, another Otago University intern, and look forward to working with her while she explores her topic. 

We have secured funding from the Chinese Poll Tax fund to set up the New Zealand Chinese Historical Research Centre – this will enable us to finish processing the Ng Collection and create a dedicated website, so watch this space! The Archives have recently received several new treasures, including the full run of the Evangelical Presbyterian from the Westminster Fellowship, and also a Break of Day birthday book (1911-1917) which is currently being indexed.

We have welcomed several new people to our volunteer team – these wonderful individuals provide invaluable help processing the many boxes of church records that continue to be deposited. We have plenty of projects for them to work on, so new volunteers are always welcome!

Paid membership of the Hewitson Library continues to grow. In response to feedback we have reduced the annual fee to $20 for retired or part-time members. If you fit into that category and paid the full rate in 2017, we will take that into account when you renew your membership.

Jane Thomsen

Presbyterian Youth Ministry

Happy New Year from Matt and myself. We trust you have enjoyed a well-earned break, and are excited to face a new year of ministry.

Here is a short list of some of the more popular ways we are currently supporting churches and youth ministries:

Youth commissioners programme - GA2018
We are looking for young adults aged 18-30, who are self-assured and have a mature Christian faith to be part of the GA Youth Commissioner Programme.

Please recommend any suitable potential youth commissioners to your regional youth coordinator. Each presbytery has six positions available for youth commissioners for this year’s General Assembly.

Gordon Fitch
National Youth Manager

Global Mission

Welcome to 2018. It’s arrived raring to go – we have a busy year ahead of us on the Global Mission agenda.

But first of all, 2017 ended with a very successful Going Global programme to Myanmar. A report about this will be in the next edition of Spanz.

Our work in Myanmar
We have also made progress with plans for Wayne and Helen Harray to serve at Tahan Theological College (TTC) in Myanmar this year. We are close to having the Council for World Mission funding confirmed, which will enable them to begin their work on staff at TTC. This will meet some expenses but we are fundraising to cover remaining costs including the agriculture project that Wayne will develop. Learn more about this or how to financially support the Harrays and their work in Myanmar, by contacting me for more information.

Our work in Vanuatu
We will be supporting six personnel serving in Vanuatu this year: Neville and Gloria Jones, and Martyn and Annette Vincent will be returning to serve with the Presbyterian Church Vanuatu in Port Vila; Nicola Young is new to the team and will work as a tutor at the Korvan Community Health Centre and Rev Dawn Daunauda will be teaching English at Talua Theological Training Institute, on Espiritu Santo Island. Opportunities exist to get involved in Vanuatu – contact me if you like to find out more. Read about our work in Vanuatu here.

Apply to be a Youth Assembly delegate (Indonesia)
The Christian Conference of Asia is holding a Youth Assembly in Indonesia in April. Young adults (aged 20-35) from our Church can apply to be delegates. Some travel subsidy will be available but all costs are not yet confirmed. Apply here and applications need to be confirmed by Assembly Executive Secretary, Wayne Matheson. The closing date is 15 February. Please contact me for more information.

If you would like me to visit your church and share about the ministry of Global Mission, please call or email me.

Phil King
Global Mission Coordinator

New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services

88,000 fewer children in poverty: what this means
Today we can celebrate –  alongside other churches on the NZCCSS – that children’s needs are being taken seriously.

NZCCSS policy analyst, Paul Barber says: “Right before Christmas, the Labour-led coalition Government announced details of the Families Package taking effect July 1 this year and fully implemented in 2020.

“The package is expected to nearly halve the number of children living in poverty over the next three years, reducing the number by 88,000 (48 percent). A summary analysis supplied by Minister of Finance Grant Robertson shows average gains per week of $74.77 to $93.42 per week will be highest for families in the lower half of incomes.

“Combined – the increased Accommodation Supplement and the Winter Energy Payment will deliver direct benefit particularly to Pacific families and their children. Just under half of Pacific children under five live in crowded homes and 43 percent of families report problems with the cold.

Tamariki Māori will also gain from the package, with one-third living in low-income households and a quarter in crowded homes. Labour Deputy Leader, Kelvin Davis, says this is delivering on the promise to make a difference for whānau and their communities, with the Best Start payment and increases to Working for Families giving significant benefit in the child’s vital early years.

Some households without children will also benefit from the changes. All older people eligible for NZ Super will be able to receive the Winter Energy payment while the changes to Accommodation Supplement and Independent Earner Tax Credit will also go to some households without children.

The changes signal a significantly fairer re-distribution of income in New Zealand achieved by cancelling tax breaks of $440 million a year to 10 per cent of our highest earners. The focus is on giving children the best start in life and supporting families struggling to balance work while raising a family.

Diane Gilliam-Weeks

Rev Diane Gilliam-Weeks is the Presbyterian Church representative (alongside Presbyterian Support) on the NZCCSS.

Kids Friendly

“The child grew and became strong…”
After Christmas and hopefully a restful summer holiday, we are propelled back into the busyness of life; a new year, priorities to re-arrange, goals to consider, sermon series to plan, children and youth ministry themes to set for the year… and our diaries begin to fill with a multitude of activities and events.

In Luke’s gospel we read a description of Jesus after he was presented in the temple: “The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom…” In the original language, what is implied here is a continuous process of “being filled”. We know it was certainly true of our Lord Jesus, who being fully human and fully divine, was continually filled with wisdom from on-high at the time of his birth, into childhood and teenage-hood, and into his adult life and ministry on earth.

For Jesus, it was a continual process; not something that happened once and for all as the text suggests. Might the same be true for us and the families we serve? As we continue to consider how we approach this year in life and in ministry, maybe we are being called to leave some space to be “filled” as the year progresses?   

Just as a farmer, who hopes for a healthy harvest, does not fill his field with crowded seedlings, so too should we make space in our schedules for God to “grow” in us. Sometimes being “filled” means simply that: making space.

As we move into the season of Lent, let’s consider how we might make space for what God wants to “grow” in us.

“The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favour of God was upon him.”  Luke 2:40 (NRSV)

Rev Robin Humphreys
Kids Friendly coach

Presbyterian Women

Over the past few months confronting, disturbing accounts of abuse as a result of unequal power dynamics have dominated media streams. The reaction of those around me has given rise to deep cries for change – change on a global scale. There has also been lament about the power dynamics that are present in our own lives.

As Presbyterian Women and followers of Christ we have something to offer the wider conversation of power dynamics and gender equality. We are part of a denomination that has an aspiration to walk in the light of Galatians 3:28. We are proclaimers of a gospel that makes room for each person’s story; we are family that has room for the broken-hearted.  

This year, PWANZ is committing to join in the wider conversations that our country is having regarding women. We will be writing submissions on relevant legislation and over the year encouraging our members and others to join us in speaking up and out. Can I suggest you watch our Facebook page or subscribe to our Bushfire publication so you can join your voice with PWANZ as we aspire to be “one in Christ”?

Presbyterian Women Aotearoa NZ also want to congratulate Joy Cowley, recently recognised as a Member of New Zealand Order. Joy gave of her time at our Women’s Assembly recently held in Mosgiel. Those who attended were richly blessed by her teaching. We were also inspired by her faith which she so freely shared with us. We know that over the years she has given of her gifts and talents to encourage congregations around the country. She is truly a woman for our time and place.  

Rev Erin Pendreigh

CWS Notices

Make Hope My Story
The story for last year’s Christmas Appeal was one of hope. Through Advent we listened to stories and prayed for CWS partners working to ensure that more people have food, water, dignity, justice and lives free of violence. Your support will change their story from one of survival to one of hope and new opportunity. Thanks to treasurers who have sent us Christmas Appeal contributions from their churches already. We would appreciate the remainder this month so we can receipt them before 31 March. You can still make a donation to the Christmas Appeal.

World Day of Prayer
Join the annual World Day of Prayer on Friday, 2 March in your community. World Day of Prayer creates a wave of prayer in over 170 countries. This year women from Suriname in South America have prepared liturgy and music with the theme “All God’s Creation is Very Good”. Last year more than 200 services were held in Aotearoa New Zealand. For more information, contact your local World Day of Prayer organising group or Zella at wdpnz@xtra.co.nz

Operation Refugee
Into its third year, Operation Refugee provides a lifeline to Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon. Plan to join us living on refugee rations and raising funds so more refugees have food, medical care and education from 16-20 June. Sign up now for more information or have a chat to David Lawson.

Rohingya refugees
More than 655,000 people have fled Myanmar since violence escalated in August 2017. CWS is appealing for funds so ACT Alliance (Action by Churches Together) local partners in Bangladesh can provide desperately needed food, water, shelter materials, hygiene kits, sanitation, psycho-social and medical care. Many have suffered severe trauma. Please pray for their healing and protection as well as a good resolution to this crisis.


Books by Rob Yule
Very Rev Rob Yule has published three books recently which may be of interest: Restoring the Fortunes of Zion: Essays on Israel, Jerusalem and Jewish-Christian Relations on the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Six-Day War (WestBow Press, 2017), A Terrifying Grace: Sexuality, Romance and Marriage in Christian History (WestBow Press, 2017) and Fences of Freedom: The Ten Commandments for Today. A Summary of What is Moral for a Morally-Confused Society (Xulon Press, 2015). All books are available from the author, robertmyule@gmail.com, from publisher’s website, or from Amazon.

Presbyterian Investment Fund
The Church Property Trustees advise that the interest rate paid on Presbyterian Investment Fund deposits remains at 3.50 per cent per annum. This rate became effective on 1 September 2017. The Fund is open to parishes, but not to individuals. For further information, email the Trustees’ Executive Officer, Kos van Lier.

End of Life Choice Bill
You are reminded that there is an opportunity to send a submission to the Justice Select Committee considering the End of Life Choice Bill. The Interchurch Bioethics Council has collated some resouces to help congregations and individuals engage with this important issue. View resources here Submissions to the Justice Select Committee close on 20 February 2018. More info about how to make a submission

Mark: The Illustrated Gospel Project lectionary resource available now
This creative resource is the work of more than 40 artists from around New Zealand and features a complete paraphrase of Mark's Gospel, accompanied with artwork, poetry, music along with liturgical resources and suggestions. Chapters 13 and 14 have been published online already and more will be available in coming weeks. Printed copies of the resource are available by contacting malcolm@knoxcentre.ac.nz. Each congregation of the Church is entitled to a free copy.

2017/18 lectionary and calendar available
The new lectionary (Year B - Mark) commenced on 3 December 2017. Download lectionary and calendar for 2017-2018

Glen Innis vacancies
Bookings for the school summer holidays will now be taken from 1 February for that upcoming summer. Bookings will no longer be taken 1-2 years in advance. Bookings for the 2018/2019 summer will therefore open up from the 1 February 2018. Check out vacancies over the next couple of months here

Church Register

The following KCML students completed their studies in December 2017, and are now Licentiates from 8 December 2017.

  • Mr Mike Kirby-Sing (Kaimai Presbytery)
  • Mr Mark Patrick Maney (Kaimai Presbytery)
  • Mr Sage Harris (The Southern Presbytery)
  • Mr Michael Coutts (Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu)
  • Mrs Paula Levy  (Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu)

Ordination and Inductions
Rev Craig Holmes Allen, lay minister Te Anau Presbyterian Church,  to minister, Te Anau Presbyterian Church, Southern Presbytery, 7 March 2017.

Rev Tengaru Paniora, licentiate to minister, Dunedin North Pacific Islands Church, Southern Presbytery, 28 November 2017.

Rev Mike Kirby-Sing, licentiate, Kaimai Presbytery, to minister stated supply, Lumsden Balfour King, Southern Presbytery, 15 December 2017.

Rev Mark Patrick Maney, licentiate to minister St Andrews Church Mt Maunganui, Kaimai Presbytery, 7 December 2017.

Rev Tauinaola Tofilau, Minister, Pacific Island Presbyterian Church Newtown, Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, 10 December 2017.

Removals from Roll (inactive in ordained ministry within the Presbyterian Church):
Rev Laszlo Gyula Mark, other recognised ministry, removed from roll as inactive and living overseas. 1 January 2018.

Rev Geoffrey Vine, minister emeritus, Northern Presbytery, died 11 December 2017.

Rev John Turton, minister emeritus, Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, died 31 December 2017. 

Rev William George Boyd Clark, minister emeritus, Southern Presbytery died 22 December 2017.


Check out the latest events from around our Church and from Christian organisations and partners. Read more


Wellington City Mission is seeking a new city missioner and Scripture Union is looking for a new national director. Check out these and other job vacancies as well as ministerial vacancies within Presbyterian and Uniting congregations.